March 31, 2013

March Empties!

I remembered to save everything! Or at least take a picture of them before I threw them out :)

So March was an eventful month in terms of finishing products. Finishing the primer and face creams meant I was able to dip into many of the foil packets and samples that I have - Yay!

So, here are March's Empties!

Pantene Conditioner: I'll for sure be buying this again in the future. It's one of my go-to brands.
Fructis Shampoo: Same as the Pantene, it's one of my go to brands.
Satin Care Shaving Cream: I refuse to purchase this again. This is the second bottle/container that actually stopped dispensing before it was empty. I used it for maybe a week before this happened. I have since found a shaving oil that I don't have to worry about wasting my money on. 

Stila forever your curl mascara: This has the exact same smell as their 10-in1 BB cream - Blech! The brush was ok, but it did smudge under my eyes. Wouldn't purchase
Fresh sugar lip treatment: Got this from Sephora for my birthday. It smelled good (lemony) and worked ok. But I wouldn't purchase again due to the price ($26!)
BodyShop lip scrub/exfoliator: This sucked. Horribly. Wouldn't purchase.
Smashbox Photo Finish primer: It's good, but I prefer Lancôme's La Base. Doesn't feel quite as silicone-y. Wouldn't repurchase
Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream: I really liked this! Slightly thick, absorbed overnight nicely, didn't leave my face feeling greasy, didn't break out. At $108 for the 2oz, I'll wait a few years.
Sephora Instant Moisturizer: Light, absorbed quickly. I'd buy it again
Gosh Show Me Volume Mascara: This is the mascara that I always bought. It did smudge a little under the eyes, but I've had worse. Overall great results. I'll buy it again, if I don't find a less expensive alternative.
Macadamia Natural Oil Moisturizing Rinse: Essentially a conditioner. I didn't care for this at all. It didn't condition my hair at all. My hair felt dry afterwards. next time around I tried it with my regular leave in conditioner and apparently they didn't like each other as my hair felt gross & dirty after. Would not purchase.*note this item was sent for consideration
Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish: I found that this didn't blend well into my skin, was too dark and therefor was streaky. Went ahead anyways with foundation over top, turned out ok, but didn't care for this product. Would not purchase.
Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner (midnight black): I loved this, however once I got about half way, it started to harden :( I do love this, but I'm trying a different product right now that I think I might like better. May not repurchase.
Gosh Pressed Powder Compact: One of few products to hit pan. While it's not completely emptied, it is like 6 years old and the colour doesn't quite match as great. Wouldn't repurchase as I've found better out there. 

Dr. Brandt Collagen Eye Serum: Always pilled, regardless what's under or over it. Would not purchase
Mai Couture: Love the concept, hate the colour. Bright pink with slight purple iridescence. Would not purchase.
Radio Station lip balm (Lady Gaga): Got this leaving a concert - they were just handing them out by the dozens! Loved it really. Too bad this was my last one :(
Jouviance Radiance Booster: Didn't boost anything. Also pilled. Would not purchase.
Bliss Fat Girl Slim: Always forgot to use it, so can't tell if it would have made a difference. Neutral.
Clarins Everlasting Foundation (103 Ivory): Too dark for me. Wouldn't purchase.
Arbonne: Restorative Day Crème SPF 20: Really slow at absorbing into my skin (annoying when trying to get ready in the AM) Like everything that I've tried from this line, smelled a little like grapefruit. Would not purchase.
Arbonne Smooth Facial Cleanser: Best used with LOTS of water, otherwise it's like washing your hands with a creamy soap without enough water. It was ok. I wouldn't pay $50 for this though.
Arbonne Corrective Eye Crème: Anything applied on top (regardless how long I waited), would pill. Didn't notice a difference. Would not purchase.
Arbonne Night Repair Crème: Thicker than day cream, nice smell, however left my face slightly greasy. I'd rather the Algenist.
Arbonned Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème with SPF 20: Too rich for my skin. Did not absorb at all. Would not purchase.
Arbonne Regenerating Toner: It acted like all toners I've ever owned. Priced at $42, would not purchase.
Arbonne Intensive Renewal Serum: Not familiar with serums, felt nice, absorbed well, little goes a long ways. Not sure if I'm ready to commit to something that's $68 as I don't quite need it at this point.
L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream: Love it! Colour's perfect, blends well, decent coverage. May purchase in the future.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (200 Soft Beige): One shade too dark for me, but otherwise nice. May purchase one shade lighter.
Julep One-Step Polish Remover Pad: Strong smell, dried out nails, one was not enough for all 10 fingers. Would not purchase.
Merlot Moonlight Radiance Night Cream: I love this almost as much as Algenist. At only $21 + $12 shipping, totally worth it!

So there's the March Empties!  Here's hoping April will be just as successful.


March 30, 2013

Mini Rant: Crème

For those that know me, know that I'm bilingual. And if you've heard me speak with my family, you'll often here some "frenglish" or "franglais" (occasionally through in an english word in a french sentence and vice versa).

Now, if we're describing something (in English) that is cream in colour or texture, we don't go calling it "crème". Seriously, what is wrong with these companies that go throwing that word around? It honestly irritates me. You see this a lot with nail polish. "Bright violet crème". Seriously? You can't just say Bright violet cream? You don't sound any fancier throwing a french word in there.

It just annoys me.  /end rant



March 25, 2013

Final thoughts: 5 Lip Product Challenge

I took all the lip products that were part of this challenge and separated them in groups and these are my final thoughts on each one of them. I've also included the link of which month it was featured if you'd like to read my mini-reviews.
Missing is the first group of products

Will Repurchase

BareMinerals Pretty Amazing in Courage -Will finish. Will repurchase. October
BareMinerals Pretty Amazing in Panache (mini) -Will finish. Will repurchase. August
Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar - Will finish. Will repurchase. December
Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in 07 Gorgeous Peach - Will finish. Will repurchase. January
Tarte for True Blood LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint - May finish. Will purchase (only as part of a set due to price). September
Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster in Glitzy -Will finish. Will purchase (only as part of a set due to price). September

May Repurchase

BareMinerals Pretty Amazing in Strength -Will finish. May repurchase (debating about colour) December
Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in April - Will finish. May repurchase. October
Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF15 in Fireberry -Will finish. May repurchase. February
GOSH Lip Gloss in 0073 -Will finish. May repurchase. November
Lancome Le Rouge Absolu in Crushed Rose - Will finish. May repurchase. December
MUFE Lab Shine Diamond Collection D14 -Will finish. May repurchase. November
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie - Will finish. May repurchase. January
Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in 02 Fancy Red -Will finish. May repurchase. November
The Body Shop Hi-Shine lip Treatment -Will finish. May repurchase. October
Urban Decay Lip Junkie in Naked -Will finish. May repurchase. August

May Not Repurchase

Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Sparkling - Will finish. May not repurchase. February
Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Lipstick in Soufflé -Will finish. May not repurchase. September
Mark Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain in Frilly Froufrou -Will finish. May not repurchase. September
MUFE Lab Shine Diamond Collection D16 -Will finish. May not repurchase. February
MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S2 -Will finish. May not repurchase. August

Will Not Repurchase

City Lips in Sin City - Garbage. Will not purchase.  December
Fresh Sugar in Rosé -Will finish. Will not repurchase. November
Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Berlin - Gave away. Will not repurchase. October
Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw - Gave away. Will not repurchase. February
Kat Von D Foiled Love Liquid Lipstick in Adora - Gave away. Will not repurchase. January
Kat Von D Foiled Love Liquid Lipstick in Forever & Never - Gave away. Will not repurchase. November
Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in Nude - May not finish. Will not repurchase. January
MUFE Lab Shine Metal Collection  M16 - Gave away. Will not repurchase. September
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) in Hush - Gave away. Will not repurchase. October
OCC in Reverb - Gave Away. Will not repurchase. January
Philosophy Lip Shine in Berry Christmas - Garbage. Will not repurchase. February
Philosophy Lip Shine in Pomegranate Bubbly -Gave away. Will not repurchase. August
Sephora Fresh Gloss - May not finish. Will not repurchase. August
Stila Lip & Cheek Stain in Coconut Crush - Garbage. Will not repurchase. December
The Body Shop Born Lippy in Satsuma - Garbage. Will not repurchase. January

Now.. what shall I do with these new guys?


March 24, 2013

Another Beauty No-Buy

After the L'Oreal Warehouse Sale, I decided to start another beauty no-buy. It'll be similar to the last one I did, which worked very well. My goal is at least 1 month, however I'm hoping to have it about 3 months long.We'll see how it goes since I am going to the Blush Pretty Beauty Boards in May.

Rules are simple and pretty much the same as last time:

- Don't buy any beauty products unless replenishing
- Before replenishing, see if I have samples to use up first
- Officially started on Monday, March 18

I started this on a whim, so there was no planning or thinking about it. That being said, I did ask a friend a few weeks ago to pick up a few items from the MAC Warehouse Sale. That was a whole $22.

Looking up at my extra stash above my computer, I do see that I won't need any mousse, hair oil, hair spray, makeup remover, cleansers, toner, face creams, masks, or body/hand lotion/butters. And I'm pretty sure I don't need makeup. AT ALL.

Anytime I feel the urge to spend, or see something that I want, I will do one of two things: "buy" an item from my out-of-sight makeup stash. That money goes in a container that doesn't get opened. Or I take the dollar amount of the item I'm wanting and put it either in another bank account.

So, here's hoping for the best!



March 18, 2013

Farewell Google Reader - Hello Bloglovin' !

So, in case you haven't heard the news by now, Google Reader will be no more as of July 1st. You can now follow me via BlogLovin' or Hello Cotton. Links are below and to the right.

Also, you can import your Google Reader list into BlogLovin' with just a few clicks of a button.

So follow me on this journey!

Follow on Bloglovin

March 17, 2013

L'Oreal Warehouse Sale

Just a quick post about the L'Oreal Warehouse sale that I had the opportunity to go to (Thanks Jennifer!!).

Went on Sunday (St. Patty's Day!), got there about 10 minutes before doors opened and there was about a good 50 people ahead of us.Once we got in, you could grab a regular hand basket or a shopping cart (slightly smaller than grocery store ones). Look out for these people - They're often in the way and some will fill up their carts with the bigger, boxed stuff (like the gift set stuff).

At first it was ok, then within about 15 minutes it was a zoo. A little hard to move and look at stuff. The center-ish area had some of the makeup products (blushes, nail polish, eyeshadows, bronzers, mascara, etc) and they actually have testers (Essie is near a wall across from this area, nearby where you walk in).  If you're interested in any of the Lancome stuff I suggest you go straight for it first - it should be to the far left. It sells fast and I don't know how often they restock the shelves.

Now onto what I picked up:

Essie All in One Base $6
Essie Grow Faster  $6

 Ombrelle SPF30  for Face $5
 Garnier Fructis Shampoo & Conditioner $2 each
 L'Oreall Elnett Hairspray $3
 Maybelline Mascaras $3.75 each
Maybelline ShineSenational $2.75
Maybelline Color Tattoo $3.75 each
L'Oreal Infallible $4.50
Maybelline Dream Mousse Bronzer $6.75
Maybelline Pressed Bronzer $4.50
Pressed Bronzer, Mousse Bronzer, Lip Gloss
Color Tattoo in Gold Shimmer, Mossy Green and Infallible in Bronzed Taupe

So there you have it!  All this for $69.21 incl. taxes.


March 16, 2013

March Ipsy

I feel like I keep bouncing around from beauty box to beauty box. I'm sure you've read about my ex, Topbox. Then I had a little fling with Glossybox, followed by a one-night stand with LipFactory. Now I'm taking Ipsy out for a spin.

So far, the exterior is cute, almost attractive really. The interior can use some adjustments. Here's my beau for March.

Ipsy's theme was "The Great Escape". I can see the resemblance with the items and the theme, but it still left me with wanting more.

The bag is made of what I believe to be Nylon and features a cute nautical design of rope & anchor. Keeping with the theme and images, it is a navy blue with an extremely light blue. I was hoping for a nice white, but this was almost a shade or two off from white. Still cute & usable non-the less. (Besides, we can't judge a man beauty bag, by it's outside.. can we?)

First item pulled out was the LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes. I see that this is the type of bag that wants to make sure I don't go walking around with streaky foundation or raccoon eyes from the beach (don't worry, I wear waterproof or nothing at all!) I haven't tried anything by this company yet, but I am looking forward to trying these out.

Next 2 items I pulled out were mini eyeshadows from Yaby. While I call them mini (a little smaller than a dime), these are considered full size. Received were Sand Dune (a yellowy-brown) and So Vein (green based teal). Ok, so this bag also wants me to have a little bit of fun with colour and if I don't like it I can remove it with the above mentioned wipes.

GlamRX was in the bag as well. It's like a Z-Palette but with a mirror (I don't own a Z-Palette). It's roughly the size of a credit card. It'll fit about 8 Yaby shadows (remember, a tad smaller than dimes!) or 2 Urban Decay Shadows (with a few Yabys) or 2 Tarte shadows (with a few Yabys) or 4 Kat Von D shadows. The magnet in this seems cheap. It's not very strong at all. I put on some metal stickers that I had gotten from Yaby and I feel a bit of a better magnetic attraction, but not too much. You can easily remove the shadows you put in (which is good, but I'm not sure about traveling with this). I'll admit, I have my Yaby Freestyle Palette and love it! I guess I got used to something bigger, stronger and more powerful that this little pocket-size palette.

Last item is a hydrating mist by Juice Beauty. The name sounds wonderful, does it not? It smells floral to me. It's supposed to be a refreshing blend of rosehip and ylang ylang (and a few more), but I think these are the key notes, and I'm not a fan. I don't want to smell this on my face!

It's hard to stay with someone something that smells, but I am willing to go on another date. Hopefully without any odors.



March 12, 2013

February Empties

So I decided to jump on the band wagon and do monthly "empties" posts. Well, actually, I just thought it was a good way to keep track of stuff that I've actually used up. Honestly, right now I have so much stuff that it almost gets depressing thinking about trying to use it all. I know. That may sound a little weird. I just want to try everything - but I want to finish stuff before moving onto something new.

So, here are February's empties. Since it was the first month, it was a little hard at first to remember to not through something out immediately. So I'm pretty sure there's supposed to be an extra item or two in there.

Miss Korea BB Cream was pretty good.  Only downfall was that it was pretty light for me. - Probably wouldn't purchase though.
Dr. Brandt's Collagen Eye Serum pilled with my moisturizer. Both day & night. I'll test it out in March with different moisturizers. Didn't see any difference. - Would not purchase.
L'Oréal  Youth Code BB Cream was almost a perfect match. Went on smoothly and blended nicely. Would possibly purchase.
BareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer was so-so. Nothing really stood out. Wasn't a big fan of the smell. - Wouldn't purchase.

Dove Revive Body Wash was alright. Smelled great, I felt fresh & clean. Found you needed quite a bit of water for a good lather. It was very creamy in texture. - Would possibly re-purchase
The Body Shop Body Butter in Vitamin E took me forever to finish, but it is my favorite thing to use on my legs after shaving. - Already working on my second one!

So there you have it! I already have a few of my full size products close to being done this month so I know I'll have much more to show you for March's empties!



Glossybox Italy & Poland

I recently won two international boxes from Glossybox by participating (and winning) their Pinterest contest for their 1-year anniversary. There were 3 winners for this contest. Glossybox just announced them yesterday on their Facebook page.

I'll be honest, Italy and Poland are not my first choices, however since this was the prize, I can't complain! I received my boxes within a week of being contacted, and here's what I got: 

Italy Box

Product card - front & back

Product Ingredient card

Swatched on bare skin & primer

This box is from May 2012. Almost a year old! I'm a little disappointed that it's not a more recent box, but whatever I guess. There is definitely no lack of product in this box! Upon opening the box, there was a smell that at first pleased my nostrils then quickly became too much.

In the box was a trio of items from Blumarine (perfume, bath gel and body lotion) and all 3 are the same scent - Innamorata. My nose is a little sensitive to perfumes so I had to take it out of the box and put it somewhere else so that it wouldn't bother me. Both the bath gel and body lotion are decent sizes at 30ml each. Also received 30ml of shampoo and I believe conditioner. The shampoo is scented, but not horrible. The conditioner smells a bit strong for my liking. A bit like baby powder (I don't like the smell of baby powder at all!).  Forgive me if I offend anyone, but do Italians really like/wear so many heavily scented things? I guess I know where the saying "Italian Shower"comes from ;)

The Eucerine product is a SPF 25 face cream (which is now expired) and the last two items are Kryolan's Satin Powder. The colours are very similar. One is a little more coral and the other a little more dusty rose. I would have liked to see colours that are not so similar, but I understand  that this is probably Kryolan's decision and not Glossy's.

 Overall, I'm quite disappointed with this box. A few heavily scented products that make my eyes water and nose itch so I wont be able to use those, an expired product (Sept/2012) so that leaves me with two eyeshadows that are similar in colour. At least the shadows are by Kryolan and not the dollar store.

Poland Box

Product card - front & back

Yoskine Sapphire Anti-Wrinkle Peeling
There may be only 5 products in this box compared to the Italy box, however this box is from September 2012 and contains more products that I would use. A little better, if I do say so myself. First thing I noticed was the Bath & Body Works body lotion in Pink Chiffon. I liked and debated about getting this one once so I'm happy that I now have it.

I'm not familiar with Yoskine, however I read online about it and it's supposed to have pulverized sapphire in it. Oh la la! It's a Sapphire Anti-Wrinkle Peeling. It's really an exfoliator. Light scent, nothing in particular. I look forward to trying this out.

Nuxe 24hrs Soothing and Moisturizing Rich Cream isn't something that I'll be using. I have so many face creams and what not that I really don't need another. These things seem to last me forever. I have heard good thing about this brand though.

Phyto Express Conditioner for colour treated hair. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it slightly weird that they'll send a conditioner but not a matching shampoo? My hair hasn't been color treated in nearly 2 years. I haven't decided if I'll hold onto this one or not.

Last item is Figs& Rouge Balm. It's made with peppermint & tea tree (two of my favorite things!) but it can be used on your lips, face and body. I think this a little strange. I tried it on my lips (which would be my intended use) and I quite enjoyed it.

Overall Thoughts

I honestly thought that I'd like Italy's box better, but that's not the case. Italy's box just had way too much smells going on and an expired product.

Both product cards were the same size, double sided, single language. Also the cardstock was not as thick or glossy. I understand that Canada is bilingual which is why ours are both French & English (therefore using twice as much), but I don't think we need it to be as glossy as it is or as big. Maybe this would cut down a little bit on the cost and help with slightly better products?

I did like that Italy had included an additional card (paper really) with the product ingredients. This is a good idea for those that like knowing what ingredients are in each products (those that prefer vegan or have allergies), but I do think that for the most part, we're good without it. If someone really wants to know, they can usually find it using trusty Google.

Now if you noticed, on the Italy product card it also mentioned 2 other products that were not in this box. I had researched online for reviews when this box originally came out, but it seems that no one had ever received the rose oil or jelly kiss. Strange. I think those two items would have made the box!

So overall, I can't complain about my winnings. The odds/chances of an Amazing & Spectacular box overseas is about the same as ours.

If you had a choice, which country's Glossybox would you like to try?


March 10, 2013

The Final 5: February's 5 Lip Products

I would love to say "Can you believe that I'm already done going through all those lip products?", but in reality, it was really hard. Imagine only having the choice of 5 shirts - and you didn't like them all. Ok, maybe a little dramatic there, but you get the point. The beginning wasn't too bad, but as time went on, there were just other lip glosses or lipsticks that I wanted to wear. That one item that I just knew would complete my look. But, I was limited. Alas, the time has come. The 5 final products have been tested and graded. In the next coming weeks, I plan on having a general overview of all the products I tested.

Bare lips for reference if you'd like:

Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in Fireberry

The only way I could get the true colours to show up right

- Dark Berry with finely milled gold glitter - but it applies fairly sheer with not much of a gold hint
- A little thick makes it slightly tacky
- Doe-foot applicator
- No smell

Price:  $19 

Verdict: It's nice when I need something thick (dry lips) that doesn't show too much, but I wouldn't buy again

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Sparkling

- Smells like Vanilla, but doesn't taste like anything
- Doe foot applicator
- Very nice consistency (not thick, but not runny)
- Adds a nice touch of frosted colour

Price: $27

Verdict: This was a GWP and I really like it, however for the price, I'm sure I can find an equivalent for less.

MUFE Lab Shine in D16

- I can admit, I like the slightly sweet smell. Still not sure what the smell is
- Mostly sheer, but leaves a bit of sparkle/glitter on the lips
- Not sticky, but hair will get caught

Price: $21

Verdict: I'm sure I can find something very similar for a lower price, so no, I would not buy this exact product again.

Philosophy Lip Gloss in Berry Christmas

- I don't remember the smell, but it did smell good
- Shortly after application, it made my lips incredibly itchy

Price: $10-13

Verdict: So far, two Philosophy glosses that I've tried and haven't liked either of them. I wasn't able to test this one any further due to the itchy feeling. It went into the garbage the first day of February. Will not be purchasing Philisophy lip products in the future. 

Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw

forgot to take an individual lip pic
 - Dries matte, but also very drying on the lips
- Formula and the bold red leave no room for error
- Lasted about 4-5 hours before wearing off
- No smell
- A gloss on top makes it look a little better.

Price: $23

Verdict:I wouldn't purchase again, and while All the others are being put up for new homes, this one will stay here. Unless I have a better bright red hanging around somewhere (you never know when a girl's going to need a good red lipstick!)

January's 5 Lip Products
December's 5 Lip Products
November's 5 Lip Products
October's 5 Lip Products
September's 5 Lip Products
August's 5 Lip Products